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Apple TV Setup: Tips and Tricks for Setting up a New Apple TV

Apple continues to hold onto a strong, dedicated base of streamers with 15% of the market share. Apple TV has a ton of functionality and upgrades from its previous iterations. Those who are just discovering the power of this smart TV device may feel a little overwhelmed at first.


Apple TV Setup tips and tricks


Thankfully, there's plenty of help out there with the Apple TV setup, thanks to Apple's intuitive features. Even if you're new to Apple products, you can pick-up things fairly quickly. To help get you pointed in the right direction, we have highlighted some of the most useful setup configurations for beginners.


Once you have these features down, you'll be able to customize your viewing experience the way you like it.



Apple TV Setup with Peripherals


One of the often overlooked--but celebrated--perks for cord-cutters out there is the ability to use a keyboard. With an Apple TV, you can add a keyboard and a gamepad for playing games from the App Store. To do it, all you need is a Bluetooth keyboard and navigate to your Bluetooth pairing menu.


Just go under Settings, Remotes, and Devices, and then Bluetooth. You should see your keyboard or gamepad under the Other Devices section. This is where you can also add wireless headphones, too. Every Apple TV owner should have one if they live with others for those late night binges.



Control Apple TV with Your Phone or Watch


You don't need to use a separate remote to watch TV, just use your iPhone or Apple Watch instead. You can find an Apple TV Remote app that will allow you to network your Apple devices with your TV. This functionality also includes inputting Siri voice commands into your phone to control the TV.


For Apple Watch owners, you can essentially use your screen as a touchpad. Swipe to browse, tap to play, and access menu functions from your wrist. The only drawback here is there isn't a home button for quickly exiting to the home screen. First-world problems, indeed.



Get Spotify and Google Play


Just because there isn't an official app for Spotify or Google Play on the App Store, that doesn't mean you can't play your music from them. This little workaround is actually easy and doesn't require any techy setups. Simply use AirPlay to beam it to your Apple TV or sound system.


While you're playing it on your phone, you should see the AirPlay or Cast icon at the bottom of the screen, then you just select the device you want to play it on.



Control Smart Home Electronics


Apple TV can become your all-in-one control center for your home. You can use it to control your HomeKit devices anywhere, secure them with access-only privileges, and adjust settings whenever. Start with downloading and setting up the official HomeHub app.


Once you have that, you just go into your Settings, Accounts, and then iCloud menu to check to see if your HomeKit is listed. With it activated, you can then use Siri to control all your devices, whether you're away or at home. This is awesome for saving money, turning devices on or off when you're not home.



Change Your Screensaver


This simple quality of life improvement is something everyone should do on the first day they're setting up their Apple TV. Just head over to Settings, General, and Screensaver. You'll get the option to switch from Apple Photos, My Photos, Home Sharing, or My Music folder.


You can also customize how the screensaver rotates through your photos and videos. If you actually prefer Apple's Aerial screensavers, you can also increase the rate that new ones are downloaded.



Seek Faster than Mr. Meeseeks


Have you ever sat there watching TV wishing that it was easier and faster to skip through scenes or go back a few seconds? Well, this is actually one of the areas that Apple TV has their competitors beat. Rather than using the on-screen buttons or remote buttons, use Siri instead.


Just tell Siri to "Jump back.." or "Skip ahead.." the specific amount of time. You can also quickly ask Siri "What did they say?" and you will hear the previous speaker in any scene. This functionality is much more natural and intuitive. You'll never want to suffer through standard streaming services ever again.



Get Apps Faster


You'll probably have a lot of apps that you'll want to try on the big screen with your Apple TV. While you're installing apps the manual way, you could also queue it up automatically, just like your iPad. Just go into your Settings and Apps menu and make sure you have the option selected to automatically install apps.


I would turn this option on as soon as possible, that way you can catch any app updates that are being pushed out to your phone.



Clear Your Search


We don't mean "search history" here, everyone should know how to do that by now. Make your searching experience much quicker by pressing just one button to clear whatever you have typed out on screen. Tap the Siri button and it will automatically delete your search field.


You'll clear the screen without having to actually use the dictation if you don't want to.



More Tech Help and Tutorials


We could have added probably ten more useful Apple TV setup tips in this guide, but these are a great start. You'll probably discover a lot more functionality features just from tinkering around. If you liked our guide and are looking for more tech help, just visit our self-help tutorials section.


Here you'll find information to help with any connectivity problems you may be having in your home. Follow our tips to find out the real cause before you have to call for help and get stuck on hold.


At Wave Direct, we're trying to bridge the gap between technology and consumers. You can give us a call anytime if you need help with your wireless home network of smart devices. We're here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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